Preparations to redevelop the derelict Aspen House site into a new £17 million Premier Inn and steakhouse are underway. 

Permission for a new eight-storey 197-bed hotel with a Bar+Block steakhouse on the ground floor on Regent Street was granted by Swindon Borough Council in June 2020.

New hoardings have been erected at the site as works begin.

It was originally hoped that the chain would be onsite in the summer of 2020 with the hotel opening in 2021.

And the council has revealed that Granville Street car park will stay because it is popular with people who visit the town.

Swindon Advertiser:

It is hoped the hotel development will increase footfall on Regent Street and Commercial Road. 

SBC leader David Renard, said: “It’s good to see this vacant prominent site now coming back into use.

“The hotel and restaurant will help to bring more people into the area and will provide, not only a new restaurant offering in the town centre, but also a number of new jobs.

“This is just one of many projects to help regenerate the town centre that are starting up this year and I look forward to seeing the process.”

Hospitality business Whitbread predict that the hotel will bring £3.9 million to the town every year in visitor expenditure along with up to 89,200 leisure and business visitors to Swindon.

Swindon Advertiser: An artist’s impression of what the new Regent Street Premier Inn will look likeAn artist’s impression of what the new Regent Street Premier Inn will look like

The plan also suggested that 45 full-time equivalent jobs will be created by the venture.

According to the plan, the construction of the hotel itself will create 45 full-time equivalent jobs on and off site. The construction period is expecred to take between 18 and 20 months. 

It says: "Whitbread is committed to extending the employment opportunities generated by Premier Inn developments to local people in need of employment.

"Through Premier Inn's employment schemes, work placements and training programmes, the proposed development has the potential to directly generate employment opportunities in Swindon and the wider impact area more widely."

When the plan was approved, a spokesman for the hotelier: “We’re very excited to be bringing a latest-format hotel to Swindon town centre, and to breathe new life into this prime site at the heart of the town."

Aspen House was home to the former council offices built in the 1970s and demolished in 2013. 

A 2016 plan involved turning Aspen House and Granville Street car park into flats but this did not make it past the detailed planning.